In Lianzhou, China’s Edgiest Photography Festival Turns 15

Lianzhou Foto has emerged over the past decade and a half as the vanguard platform for contemporary photography in China, a veritable Chinese Recontres de Arles. Ask any shutterbug worthy of their Canon or Nikon where they’d like to be exhibited and they’ll likely tell you Lianzhou, rather than other Chinese photography festivals which tend to put scale ahead of substance.

“Lianzhou is remarkable for three reasons,” says Shenzhen-based photographer Lǐ Zhèngdé 李政德, who exhibited his bombastic critique of consumerism-with-Chinese-characteristics in The New Chinese in 2014 and 2016 (which has since become an internationally published photo book ). “The festival has a broad vision, it focuses on reality, and it encourages artists to push toward experimental frontiers.”

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